It’s one reason after another. Being a New York Jets fan this season gets harder as each week passes by. This week “Gang Green” took another loss; tying them for last place in the AFC East at 1-7. To make matters worse, their opponent was the previously winless Miami Dolphins, who are the team that has been trading away their best players for draft stock in the coming years, thus signaling a team rebuild. Before the season started, the Jets’ future looked bright. They signed star running back Le’Veon Bell, added a new head coach and added several strong defenders to a defense poised to breakout. Thanks to a string of unfortunate circumstances and incompetence, the Jets once again are near the bottom of the National Football League.
During the offseason, the Jets fired Todd Bowles from his head coaching position and brought in Adam Gase; a move many thought was a step in the right direction. Joe Douglas was hired as General Manager, and Le’Veon Bell was brought in to help quarterback Sam Darnold in his second season. On the other side of the ball, the team brought in linebacker C.J. Mosely. A four-time Pro Bowler, the aggressive Mosely was brought in for his veteran leadership. He was put into a group with stars like safety Jamal Adams, cornerback Trumaine Johnson, and rookie defensive lineman Quinnen Willams. On paper, the unit looked like a contending defense.
However, that didn’t translate onto the field. Out of the eight games played, the defense has given up less than 300 total yards one time. In five of those eight, they have allowed over 370 total yards. The defense is struggling mightily, though a lot of that failure can be attributed to injuries.
Mosely was out with a groin injury between week two and week six. After returning in week seven, he reinjured his groin, which will be another six weeks on the sidelines before fans are able to see his return. Things couldn’t look worse for the defense, yet the Jets made a very “Jets” move as the trade deadline approached. Safety Jamal Adams sat down with Douglas and Gase to discuss his future with the organization. Adams, a Pro Bowler in 2018, was adamant that he wanted to stay in New York. The next day, Douglas reportedly shopped Adams around the league, hoping to land Dallas Cowboys’ offensive linemen Zack Martin or Tyron Smith.
For all the negativity surrounding the defense, the offense is right there standing beside it. The signing of Adam Gase as head coach was lauded throughout the league by executives. Many pundits believed that the smart offensive mind of Gase was just what Darnold needed to break out in his second season. Next came Bell, a running back some would argue has been the best in the NFL over the past four seasons. Fresh off a year of rest, the newly-signed Bell was ready to go. Add in the signing of Wide Receiver Jamison Crowder and the return of WR Robbie Anderson, and the Jets had weapons… on paper.
The first game went well for “Gang Green”, but the fell short of a win by losing to the Buffalo Bills, 17-16. After just one week, sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold came down with mononucleosis. The next man up was Trevor Siemian. In his first game playing against the Cleveland Browns, Siemian suffered a gruesome, season-ending ankle injury. This forced the Jets to rely on third-string quarterback Luke Falk. Falk did the best he could but couldn’t help improve the Jets’ unfortunate situation. New York was crushed by opponents in the games Falk started.
Darnold returned in week six, leading the Jets to their first win of the season. Things were starting to look up for the Jets, and key defensive players like Mosely and Jordan Jenkins returned from injury. Yet, after all of that things only got worse. The Jets were blown-out at home against the Patriots and Mosely reinjured his groin during the fourth quarter. But worst of all, Darnold was caught saying that he was “seeing ghosts” on the field. Darnold threw for 86 yards and four interceptions, completing 11 passes on 32 attempts.
The Jets have done nothing but lose since then. With inconsistent play and a depth chart that is riddled with injuries, it seems this season is shaking out to be another one lost for “Gang Green” and another wasted season for their fans.